The Division 2 - Review of the new Ubisoft shooter

Three years after the first chapter and seven months from the episodes narrated in the debut title of the series, which saw an icy New York fall to their knees due to the spread of a terrible virus, the special agents of the Division they are called to return to action again in The Division 2… This time, however, in the streets of Washington DC!

Same Ubisoft, Software House responsible for what - starting today - is in fact a series, defines The Division 2 one Open-world online action shooter with RPG elements (word by word). Destiny by Actvision tried it firsthand, Anthem by Electronic Arts tried it by adding the spectacularity of the flight within the fights, Ubisoft he firmly believes, however, that gender should continue to be led by a sane realism. In The Division 2, as well as for some hyper-technological gadget that (fortunately, at least for now) does not seem to exist in reality, everything is close to the life we ​​spend every day, were it not for a "small" setback: a terrifying virus which forces the agents of the Division to restore order where chaos dominates. Civilization is on the verge of collapse but, as the splendid introductory movie states, the human race is a resilient race, that is, it is able to react head-on to traumatic events, rebuilding and pulling itself up on its own, opening up to the smallest opportunity. to capture "light" to shine again, like a flower that opens its petals to the sun's rays.

Shoot (and collect) everything!

The foundations on which The Division 2 rests are essentially two: the solidity of the gunplay it's a loot system full of weapons, pieces of equipment and aesthetic elements. The graphic sector, as you can see for yourself from the images (some of which were taken using the Photo Mode offered by the game itself) is of undeniable impact, thanks to the skilful reconstruction of a impressive amount of detail (plastic bottles, balloons, objects of all kinds abandoned on the ground, carcasses of burned cars and so on) that make Washington DC a "real" capital, full of activities to complete and crossroads where chaos has now taken over windward, more than nature which, timidly, begins to prevail on the asphalt. The frame-rate is solid and remains so even in the most agitated situations, where the effects of the explosions blend with those of the dust that rises from the streets to be surprised by the sun's rays that filter between one building and another. All splendid, even if in terms of pure definition, titles like Guerrilla's Horizon: Zero Dawn have been able to show better. In terms of environmental destructibility, The Division 2 offers a mix that we would dare to call "smart": some elements fall apart which is a pleasure, while others, apparently similar, do not give up even if all the artillery available is thrown at them. Thus we find ourselves admiring tires that are punctured at the first bullet fired (more than fair), huge windows that do not shatter even with a grenade (inexplicable, but so be it ...). Structure Open World of The Division 2 represents, in any case, a more than acceptable justification for a game world that is not completely destructible, but which absolutely knows how to be alive, vibrant, exciting.

But let's go back to what is essential, the two pillars of the entire experience: does The Division 2 gunplay work? Yes, it works. The Ubisoft shooter is wonderfully comfortable in the view in third person (it is not possible to activate the first person, you are warned). The soldier who is called to impersonate moves easily in the world around him, even if we still do not understand the choice of the developers in not giving the possibility to squat and lie down on the ground. On the other hand, the choice of not dedicating any buttons to the jump is convincing, it being understood that the players have the possibility to dodge any obstacle, even while running, in a sort of acrobatic race in the style of Assassin's Creed, but definitely less flashy. To convince is also the roofing system which, as in the first chapter, allows you to move easily between one and the other, or to move just enough with extreme precision to change only the angle of shot. The aiming system is semi-automatically adjusted: when you press the aiming button, the viewfinder is positioned at the center of the target closest to the viewfinder itself, the player then has the possibility to move where they want, for example to take a headshot (but we still don't appreciate the fact that enemies do not die with a single headshot). As in the first chapter, also in The Division 2 there is one incredible variety of weapons and equipment to use in battle, as well as from an infinite series of cosmetic items of all sorts (from hats to sunglasses). To the various assault rifles and submachine guns are added a whole series of skills and advantages. The Ability they unlock deadly "gadgets" of various kinds, such as drones and turrets (and other more original ones such as the "Firefly") which, for a maximum of two at a time, can be used in battle to obtain an important advantage. The impressive thing is that every single Ability has at least three variants: the drone can, for example, be aimed at a single enemy or it can release a series of explosive charges (which explode on impact with the ground) in a precise area indicated by the player. . THE Advantagesinstead, they offer a whole series of bonuses, not necessarily related to weapons. You can unlock the ability to expand your inventory (in order to collect more items on a mission, before returning to the Base of Operations) and you can also decide that each supply crate fully reloads the maximum number of armor that can be brought in. battle.

As in the Beta, theArtificial intelligence which regulates the behavior of enemy soldiers managed by the CPU, unfortunately it has not completely convinced us. Some of them seem to be almost completely blind, not detecting our position a few steps away, while others know exactly where we are even when, perfectly invisible from the line of their visual field. We launch a drone that unleashes a hell of bullets on their heads - how do they know where we are? Mystery! Stealth, in The Division 2, is practically non-existent: killing an enemy from behind activates the alarm almost instantaneously which, in a few seconds, causes a furious manhunt against us. In any case, it is good to keep in mind that in this game avoiding firefights is almost always a mistake, due to the second "backbone" on which the title is based: the "loot".

As in the aforementioned Destiny and Anthem (or as in Diablo, wanting to change genre), the most significant part of the game experience is given by I keep looking for a better weapon or piece of equipment. When the Campaign has come to an end and the soldier has reached Level 30, it will be possible to access new missions, including PvP (the famous "Black Areas“, Which in The Division 2 are well 3, differentiated by characteristics and settings), and it is there that the title will offer the best. ensuring players find items of incredible power.


The Division 2 endgame comes to life upon reaching Level 30, and in any case after completing the main missions and liberating the three strongholds. Like a dark cloud that envelops heaven and earth, as a harbinger of doom, the dangerous agents of the Black tusk, which in a single instant will make all your previous efforts in vain, returning to occupy outposts and fortresses. The endgame coincides with the entry into world 2 (for a maximum of 5 worlds, the last of which has been unlocked a few days ago). To level up the world you need to complete two stronghold-related missions, reach a specific gear score level and, of course, successfully complete the main stronghold-related mission. The level of equipment also undergoes some changes, and is indicated with an overall value, rather than through “levels”.

One of the most exciting aspects of dealing with the Black Tusk is that the AI-controlled soldiers of this special unit know how to use many more combat techniques, weapons, equipment and gadgets in their favor. It should also be said, however, that thanks to a decidedly generous loot, it is not that difficult to tackle the most extreme difficulty levels, even solo, with a minimum of skill acquired behind him (and to get to Level 30 it takes about 50 hours of play!).

With the arrival of World 5, the Gear Set, or pieces of armor that if used simultaneously are able to guarantee very important bonuses in battle, whether they are dedicated to increasing the damage inflicted or to the ability to suffer enemy fire, as well as the ability to contribute in an increasingly decisive way to team victory.

For example, the Gear Set of the True Patriot is able to activate three different bonuses related to hitting enemies: at the first level, as the number of hits scored increases, the damage suffered by your soldier will decrease. At the second bonus level, teammates will see their armor level increase (for each direct hit at the enemy). At the third and final bonus of the Gear Set of the True Patriot, the recharge time of the skills of your virtual alter-ego, and of all the other members of the team, will be significantly reduced.

The Division 2 endgame therefore proves to be an incredibly thick "element" of the game, capable of significantly expanding the playful offer of a title that already presented an impressive amount of content and missions at launch. In our opinion, Massive should now review the loot system that keeps the PvP structure (the Black Zones) standing: the items that can be obtained do not vary one iota compared to all the weapons and items of equipment that can be collected addressing AI. In fact, at the moment it is the only drawback of a production of enormous thickness, which you should not miss for anything in the world, whether you are a big looter-shotter enthusiast, or if you are approaching the genre for the first time.

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